Liverpool and Senegal forward, Sadio Mane has been crowned 2019 African Player of the Year.
The Liverpool forward pipped his Liverpool teammate, Mohammed Salah and Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez to lift the award at the annual awards ceremony staged in Hurghada on Tuesday.
Sadio Mane lifted the award for the first time having made the final three for the past three editions of the awards but failed to claim the ultimate prize on any of those occasions.
He played a huge part in Senegal’s 2019 AFCON journey, netting three goals for the Terenga’s Lion before they lost by a single goal to Mahrez’s Algeria in the finals of the continental competition.
Mane found the net twice in Senegal’s 3-0 group game win over Kenya before adding another in the 1-0 win over Uganda in the round of 16 stage.
He was a big influence for his side, helping his team beat Benin Republic in the quarters and edge past their North African counterparts, Tunisia in the semifinals of the competition.
The Senegalese hitman was also as instrumental to Liverpool’s success in the Champions League as he was to his team in the AFCON Competition.
He helped the Reds lift the Champions League title for the first time since 2005 and has also played a major role in Liverpool establishing a 13-point gap over second-placed Leicester City, at the summit of the Premier League standings.
Last season, the former Southampton man was tied with Mohammed Salah and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for the Golden boot award at 22 goals.
The 27-year-old scored a whopping 39 goals across all competitions for Liverpool last campaign and has been truly spectacular.
The forward also helped Liverpool win the Club World Cup as he set up Roberto Firmino for the only goal in the final showdown against Flamengo.
He looked the best placed for the award after finishing fourth place in the recent Balon D’Or standings, bettered only by eventual winner, Lionel Messi, second-placed Virgil Van Dijk and Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo.